What‘s Happening at Walker

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Fine Arts in March & April

March Performances and Key Dates for Charlottesville City Schools

Spring performance and exhibition season for Charlottesville City Schools begins in March. Come join us for one of these community events:

Artwork by Charlottesville High School 12th grade student, Patrick O'Shea
Art courtesy Patrick O’Shea ’17

Piedmont Council for the Arts Rising Stars Award Ceremony

March 3, 7-9pm, The Haven (112 Market St.)

  • CHS seniors Faith Brown (music — cello), Elliot Craft (theater), and Patrick O’Shea (visual arts) are among the honorees!
  • Piedmont Council for the Arts will assemble the area’s most talented high school artists, writers, and performers for the 20th annual Arthur C. Greene Rising Stars Awards Ceremony. For more information, contact the PCA at 971-2787.

 

violin-collagePainted Violins Auction to Support CHS Orchestra Trip to Ireland

March 3-17 on view at Studio IX (and online)

  • Support our world-acclaimed musicians as they represent us this summer in Ireland!
  • Fourteen area artists have donated hand-painted violins to support the students
  • From March 3-17, the works can be viewed at Studio IX in the IX Building (969 2nd St. SE; gallery hours M-F 8am-5pm / Sat 9am-3pm)
  • To see photos online or bid, check out chsorchestra.org or https://chsorchestra.betterworldcollective.com/

Flyer for Art Connections exhibition, Mary 20-29. For details, call 245-2671.Art Connections 2017

March 20-29, CHS Small Gym

  • Art Connections is the annual exhibition of K-12 artwork by students at all Charlottesville City Schools.
  • Open weekdays from 9am-3:30pm in the CHS Small Gym
  • “Saturday Celebration” on March 25 from 10am-2pm with hands-on activities and the award-winning Walker Jazz Band!
  • “Open House” on Wednesday, March 29, from 4-6:30pm, just prior to “All-City Choir Festival” (see below)
  • For more information, contact Aaron Eichorst, 245-2671

 


Flyer for All-City Choral Festival 3/29 at 7pm. For details, call 245-2671.All-City Choral Festival

March 29, 7pm, Martin Luther King Performing Arts Center

  • Choirs from all schools will join for this special performance
  • For more information, contact Aaron Eichorst, 245-2671

 


Teacher Workday & Spring Break, March 31- April 7

 


Raisin in the Sun PosterA Raisin in the Sun

Theatre CHS, April 13-14, 7pm, Black Box Theatre at CHS

  • Tickets $10 adult/$5 student (available at theatrechs.org)
  • More info: David Becker at 245-2410

 


CHS Choir Spring Concert

April 26, MLKPAC, 7pm

Walker Orchestra Spring Concert

April 27, Walker Auditorium, 7pm

  • Come hear Dr. Sibert’s farewell concert to thank her for her many award-winning years of service!

CHS combined choir and Walker orchestra students

Nepalese students at Walker taking a Virtual Reality tour of their home country.

Recently at Walker

2017 is proving to be a great year at Walker Upper Elementary!  Students involved with Stage Left Theatre gave a fabulous final production of the play Beauty and the Beast on January 24, while numerous STEM activities – including experiments with water filtration, simulated boat travel up the James River, and projects using coordinate planes and virtual reality demonstrations – have all been happening throughout the months of January and February.  Meanwhile, in the classrooms, students recreated the setting of the 1998 novel ‘Among the Hidden’ by Margaret Peterson Haddix.

Enjoy the photo gallery!

CHS students interviewing and photographing local African-Americans. Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Daily Progress

Highlights and News: January 24, 2017

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January 24, 2017

Johnson 4th-graders participate in a strategic plan focus group.
Johnson fourth-graders participate in a strategic plan focus group.

Dear families,

As you know, we are developing the strategic plan that will guide our Charlottesville schools through the year 2023. So far, we have gotten a great response from students, staff, and parents — and we want to hear from you, too.

Three opportunities are available for staff and parents:

  • A community-wide listening session will be held this Wednesday (1/25) at CHS at 7pm. Join us!
  • An online survey is another way you can share your feedback and ideas.
  • A schedule of school-based meetings is on the web site, as well.

This monthly newsletter will reflect on some of the ideas we’ve heard so far, connecting the ideas with recent activities in our schools.
Dr. Rosa S. Atkins, Superintendent

Early Feedback from our Meetings and and Survey Responses:

More Real-World Activities, Projects, and Writing

CHS students interviewing and photographing local African-Americans. Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Daily ProgressRecent examples:

  • This month, CHS photo and African-American history students partnered on an community project in which they interviewed and photographed local black leaders to document African-American lives, leadership, and experiences.  The images and content will be presented to the CHS community during their African-American History Month assembly.
  • CHS student Saad Khaleefa more than impressed the crowd at the annual community  celebration honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he read his essay describing this experiences as a refugee from Syria.  Khaleefa won the high school writing contest (and classmate Thomas Inigo was a finalist); the contest was curated by PVCC judges and sponsored by the Albemarle County Rotary Club Foundation.
  • Walker students designing and testing toy boats in a James River experiementThanks to the school division’s new iSTEM program, fifth-graders at Walker School designed, built, and tested boats for a journey up the “James River” in a classroom simulation. In addition to the STEM skills, the project incorporated history and language arts skills. Similarly, third-graders across the division designed and built garden structures to protect the schools’ lettuce from winter, among other projects. You can catch a broader glimpse of the work of this new iSTEM program at STEM nights hosted by the elementary schools this winter.
  • Burnley-Moran students have been writing letters to (and receiving correspondence from) senior-citizen pen pals throughout the year.  This month, they’re going to meet each other face-to-face!

More Use of Community Partnerships and Resources

Ms. Ruth from Clark speaking with studentsA few recent examples:

  • Clark Elementary organized a “community helper day” for its kindergartners, inviting special guests including their own award-winning crossing guard Ms. Ruth Hill. Other guests are future and current community helpers from CATEC,  with high school students representing fields such as firefighting, dental, and medical care.
  • Images from two performances at the Paramount Theatre: Grapes of Wrath and The SnowmanCHS eleventh-grade English classes took advantage of performances of The Grapes of Wrath at the Paramount Theater offered by the National Players. Thanks to the theater, the actors visited CHS to offer related workshops with English and drama classes. Similarly, a number of our elementary school students were able to hear the Richmond Symphony accompany a screening of The Snowman, also at the Paramount.
  • CHS biology students recently partnered with UVa Health professionals to present their research at a student symposium. 
  • Buford students will soon be watching Hidden Figures, a powerful reminder that each of us can use our talents to impact our world. 
  • Our partnership with City Schoolyard Garden offers hands-on learning across the curriculum. Students, staff, and parents are pleased with these ongoing activities and are glad to see expansions, including the green roof project on the new garden shed at Greenbrier.

Putting Students at the Center: Offering Choices and Pathways

16-17 Zero Robotics programming team from CHS
CHS Zero Robotics programming team: ranked 10th in the world

Recent examples include:

  • Our strategic plan process includes focus groups with students at all our schools, including our alternative program, Lugo-McGinness Academy. Students have brought important and unique perspectives but also share many of the same educational goals and preferences as their teachers and parents.
  • The CHS science club BACON (Best All-around Club of Nerds) offers a model for how students can take ownership of their learning.  Students pick the projects they wish to focus on and work independently on their goals. As adviser Dr. Matt Shields notes, “It’s about as far away as you can get from ‘My dad did my science fair project.'”  For a fifth straight year, the students working on the Zero Robotics team qualified for the international finals in the programming competition sponsored by NASA and MIT. Good luck at the finals, BACON!
  • CATEC winners Luis and Ed
    CATEC winners Luis and Ed

    Students at CATEC also offer a model of charting their own path and exploring possible careers ranging from health care to culinary arts.  New this year is the program’s partnership with tech giant CISCO, offering industry-recognized certifications in IT. CATEC recently hosted the regional competition for Skills USA, showing the range of the program’s offerings. CHS students Luis Becerra-Vargas and Ed Pollock, respectively, earned 2nd and 3rd in Culinary Arts at the competition.  Congratulations!

  • Even younger students can take ownership of their learning.  This year, thanks to a grant from the Shannon Foundation, Venable students will lead their own parent-teacher conferences. Using portfolios of their own work, students will reflect on their growth and learning as well as articulate their goals for the future.
  • Student coding circuitry in engineering
    Student coding circuits in engineering

    While students in all curriculum areas offered specific examples of ways their teachers offer choice and independence, Buford and CHS students enrolled in engineering classes say that choice and independence are at the heart of these classes. Students are given structured expectations about what they will learn and what projects will guide them through the curriculum, but on a daily basis, students work independently and with peers to accomplish these goals.

Improving School Culture, Community, & Wellness

Students Taking a bow at a school-wide Venable meeting.
Taking a bow at a school-wide Venable meeting

Recent examples include:

  • Across our elementary schools, classrooms and even whole schools host periodic or daily “morning meetings” to celebrate successes, define goals, and build community.
  • This year’s new Link Crew program at CHS has connected upper-class mentors with ninth-graders to help younger students make a good transition, establish connections, and have fun.
  • More than wins and losses, athletics is about character.  At a recent basketball game, CHS recently honored graduate Rashard Davis, who just helped the JMU football team earn a national championship.  Davis is known for his work ethic, values, character — and setting college conference records. Similarly, girls’ basketball coach Jim Daly recently tweeted, “Our leading scorer from last night [Daeja Wade] was back in the gym by 9am to coach a 1st/2nd grade basketball team — nice reminder of what a great group of girls we have!”
  • Walker students solving puzzles blindfolded with help from friendsWalker students recently worked on some jigsaw puzzles while blindfolded! The challenge — completed with a little help from some friends — was organized by the schools’ counselors, who organize monthly lessons to build connections, character, and culture.
  • Jackson-Via recently earned a grant from Charlottesville’s “Sister Cities Commission” to support the school’s Harry-Potter-like “house” system. Connected to Charlottesville’s sister cities in Africa, Bulgaria, France, and Italy, the “houses” are student groups designed to build both interpersonal and international connections.
  • Wellness and nutrition have also received attention in the focus groups.  While Charlottesville has won national awards for its commitments to healthy activity, local foods, and more, there is always room for improvement.  New nutrition coordinator has met with a feedback group of Walker students, and a parent group focusing on fresh and healthy school meals has also been formed. Find the group on Facebook here!
  • Lugo-McGinness Academy, the school division’s alternative school for students in grades 7-12, is leading the way for us to reexamine school culture and discipline, focusing on relationships, student growth, and self-awareness.

Tapping into the Power of Play

Recent examples include:

  • Teachers at all levels incorporate learning games into their curriculum using hands-on items like dice or internet game-show-like tools like “Kahoot.”
  • Perhaps the model of “purposeful play” comes from kindergarten, including Johnson students recently choosing from a range of centers to explore “community helpers” — opting to play with a hospital-themed doll set, a child’s construction work table,  dress-up stations, and more.
  • A recent pep rally at CHS marked the semester’s end with laughs and games such as life-sized “Hungry, Hungry, Hippos.”
CHS students play "Hungry, Hungry Hippos" at pep rally.
CHS students play “Hungry, Hungry Hippos” at pep rally.
  • When possible, students prefer an atmosphere of “fun but serious.” One example they offered is their fine arts classes where it is fun to sing or draw or play an instrument, but the atmosphere is still marked by work and accomplishment.
  • Recess remains a priority for students, teachers, parents, and child-development experts, especially when recess is augmented by regular “get the wiggles out” activities such as brain breaks, mini-dance parties,  “Fun Fridays,” and other times for unstructured activities.

More Ideas

Students in Walker orchestraMore ideas….

  • First-grade teachers collaborating with bee-bot robots
    First-grade teachers collaborating

    Continue to attract and support such high-quality teachers and staff

  • Continue to support equity in achievement
  • Continue our commitment to the arts
  • Reexamine our facilities and how they will support learning
  • This is just a sampling of ideas we’ve heard. If you think one is missing, let us know by filling out the survey or attending a meeting!

School Board Update

Outgoing vice chair and chair, Leah Puryear and Amy Laufer
Outgoing vice chair and chair, Leah Puryear and Amy Laufer

At their January meeting, the Board elected Juan Wade and Sherry Kraft as chair and vice-chair, respectively.  The Board expressed its appreciation to outgoing chair and vice chair Amy Laufer and Leah Puryear (both of whom will remain on the Board). In addition, the Board voted to approve the 2017-18 Academic Calendar, the 2017-18 Program of Studies , and the tuition for the CLASS summer program. The Board also discussed the budget for 2017-18, heard updates about the “Link Crew” mentoring program at CHS,  and more.

Upcoming Events

Poster for Theatre CHS's presentation of Into the Woods.  Call 245-2962 for details.
Design by Sahara Clemmons, grade 10.

Upcoming events include:

  • Stage Left Theater presents Beauty and the Beast, 1/24, 6:30pm, Walker Auditorium
  • Community Strategic Plan Listening Session (open to all), 1/25, 7pm, CHS (Click here for a list of other listening sessions).
  • Buford offers Parent University, 1/26, 6pm
  • CHS Symphony/Choir Concert with Fine Arts Showcase, 2/1, 7:30pm, MLKPAC
  • School Board Meeting, 2/2, 5:30pm, CHS Media Center
  • Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) meeting, 2/14, 8:45am, Division Annex at CHS (call 245-2400 for more information)
  • CATEC Open House, 2/16, 4-6pm
  • TheatreCHS presents In the Woods, 2/16-18 at 7:30 (also 1:00 on 2/18). MLKPAC. Tickets available here.
  • Professional Learning Day (no school for students), 2/20
  • School Board Meeting, 3/2, 5:30pm, CHS Media Center

Remember that you can subscribe to our Google calendar of school holidays and as well as Google calendars for school-specific events. Instructions are at charlottesvilleschoools.org/calendar.

a marble run

STEM Nights at Charlottesville Elementary Schools

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)

STEM education is one of the most talked about elements of K–12 education today.  Charlottesville City Schools provides a wide variety of STEM-related opportunities for students beginning in pre-Kindergarten and continuing through high school.  These opportunities help CCS students discover and develop their interest in these disciplines.

Elementary STEM 2017 | Schedule of Events

Throughout the school year, a variety of STEM-related programs enhances the learning possibilities of all students. These include in-school activities like robotics and coding workshops, as well as family nights which enable students and their families to have fun with math and science.

STEM & Math Night at Jackson-Via

Jackson-Via recently held its 2017 Math & STEM evening, where CHS students from the science club BACON (Best All-around Club Of Nerds) came to help run the activities.

Colonial Day at Walker Shcool

December 2016 Buford/Walker Highlights

Marco Lopez with his award-winning art
Marco Lopez with his award-winning art.

Eighth-grader Marco Lopez won the middle-school category of the Charlottesville Public Works’ “Imagine a Day without Water” art contest. Congratulations!

Seventh-graders were able to enjoy a performance “Black Angels Over Tuskegee” at the Paramount Theatre, telling the story of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Buford students volunteering at Johnson Elementary
Volunteering at Johnson Elementary.

The waiting list is long for Buford students who want to spend their lunch going to neighboring Johnson Elementary to help young friends read. The weekly program is so popular that a once-per-quarter limit has been implemented for Buford students.

Buford students explored a wide variety of futures on career day, with visits from more than 20 professionals ranging from video game programmer, radio talk host, police officer, lawyers, real estate agent, human resource officer, public relations staffer, UVA softball coach, former pro athlete, ACAC fitness trainer, and even a UVA scientist who brought in some human brains!  Thanks to all who offered their time.

Career day at Buford
Career day at Buford — games, brains, and more!
Students meeting with military re-enactors on Veterans Day
Learning about history on Veterans Day.

Buford students celebrated Veterans Day three ways. Civics students attend Veterans’ Day events at the Jefferson School African American History Center.  The school held a program with area vets who shared their stories of military service. And the band performed in the celebrations at Highland.

The National Junior Honor Society was able to attend the Charlottesville TedEx program in November, exploring the “Power of One,” which happens to be the Buford group’s theme, as well.  How will you be the one to stand up for others?

Walker and Buford students in the schools’ Stage Left Theatre are preparing for their family-friendly winter production of Beauty & the Beast, which has been rescheduled for January 24 at 6:30pm at Walker.  Break a leg!

Colonial Day at Walker Shcool
Colonial Day at Walker School.

History students in sixth grade enjoyed a colonial market activity.  As seen in the photo, Connecticut offered maple syrup, apple cider, and smiles.

Walker teachers prove that it’s not all-work-and-no-play. Prior to the Thanksgiving Break, they offered a staff talent show for students, ranging from music to comedy. Outside, the students showed their own talents by conquering some obstacle course-like challenges set up by the Charlottesville Police Department.

Peace Squad teaching the power of "One"
Peace Squad teaching the power of “One.”

The Walker Peace Squad hit the road to all six Charlottesville elementary schools, presenting their own adaptation of the award-winning picture book One.  After their play, Walker students led their elementary friends in a discussion of the book and ways to stand up for kindness in their schools. Continuing the theme of kindness, back at Walker, students and teachers celebrated a wacky, tacky dress-up day to show that it’s wacky to be mean.

Walker School’s annual Bingo Night included some new faces — the school invited future Walker families to join in the fun.

Walker students visiting UVA athletes
Hanging out with the Hoos.

Walker students have been hanging out with U.Va. athletes lately, including tickets to the November 21  women’s basketball game, for which Walker students designed the team’s warm-up gear and participated in half-time activities.

 

 


Remember, following winter break (12/19-12/30), there is a teacher workday on Monday, January 2, 2017.  Students return to school on Tuesday, January 3.

The draft calendar for the 2017-18 school year has been posted online. The calendar is developed jointly by the Albemarle and Charlottesville schools, through the work of a committee that includes staff and parents. The School Board will vote on this calendar at its January meeting.

Communications logos: You can customize how you receive messages from us
Customize your settings in PowerSchool unless you want to receive early-morning calls about school closings.

New this year for winter closing notifications: This year, all families will receive emails and calls at all times (including early morning) unless families customize their settings via PowerSchool. Find instructions here.  If you have not yet set up your PowerSchool account, call 245-2943.

The division will be holding a number of events to gather feedback and input for our 2017-2023 Strategic Plan. A community-wide listening session will be held at CHS on Wednesday, January 25 at 7pm — come join us! Or if you wish to participate in a smaller, school-based session on another day, please contact your principal or write goodnews@charlottesvilleschools.org. Learn more or take a brief survey here.

Five of  our teachers were honored at the 2016 Chamber of Commerce dinner, serving as the guests of Bill Kehoe, recipient of the 2016 Chamber Paul Goodloe McIntire Citizenship Award. The outstanding teachers honored from Charlottesville City Schools were Michael Keller and Brendan Martin of Buford Middle School, Michel Ann Sizemore of Jackson Via Elementary, and Sarah Gallagher and Rachel Rasnake of Walker Upper Elementary.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently gave a shout-out to the schools’ partnership with City Schoolyard Garden and Local Food Hub, which supports innovating programs such as as our Harvest of the Month program, our extensive Farm-to-School Week offerings, and our year-round commitment to fresh, local foods and garden classrooms.  Thanks to both organizations for your support!

In November, the Special Education Advisory Committee hosted a community discussion about how to prepare your child for “Life After High School, Now.”

Multi-aged kids coding at Johnson for "hour of code"
Multi-aged coders at Johnson for “Hour of Code.”

Across the division, Charlottesville Schools participated in the international Hour of Code, a event designed to expose students to computer programming. Charlottesville Schools has extensive and growing support to help students learn to code.

At its fall conference, the Virginia Board of Education honored Charlottesville City Schools for receiving a 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools District Sustainability Award.


Upcoming events include:

  • Multi-School (Walker, Buford, CHS) Band Concert, 12/14. Walker beginner band at Walker at 6:30pm; the other Walker, Buford, CHS bands will be at MLKPAC at 7:30pm
  • Engineering Expo at Buford (for current and future students & families), 12/15, 6pm
  • Winter Break and Teacher Workday, 12/19 through Monday, 1/2
  • Classes resume, Tuesday, 1/3
  • School Board Meeting, 1/5, 5pm, CHS Media Center
  • Community Budget Presentation, 1/10, 5:30pm, CHS Media Center
  • No School for Martin Luther King Day, 1/16
  • End of 2nd Quarter, 1/20
  • No School for Teacher Workday, 1/23
  • Stage Left Theater presents Beauty and the Beast, 1/24, 6:30pm, Walker Auditorium
  • Community Strategic Plan Listening Session (open to all), 1/25, 7pm, CHS
  • Buford offers Parent University, 1/26, 6pm

Remember that you can subscribe to our Google calendar of school holidays and as well as Google calendars for school-specific events. Instructions are at charlottesvilleschoools.org/calendar.

Dr. Polly Sibert

Two Charlottesville Schools Orchestra Directors Win Awards​

Dr. Polly SibertThe directors of the orchestras at Charlottesville High School and Walker Upper Elementary School received awards this weekend.

Dr. Polly Sibert of Walker Upper Elementary School received James Madison University’s Outstanding Music Educator Award, awarded annually to an alum who demonstrates excellence in musicianship and pedagogy. Dr. Sibert is teaching her 25th year at Walker School.

Laura Mulligan ThomasLaura Mulligan Thomas, who received the same JMU music educator award in 2013, received the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association’s Philip Fuller award in recognition of her longtime service, leadership, and accomplishments. Over the course of more than three decades, she has grown the CHS orchestra program from a group of 8 students to an award-winning group of 145. Their next international tour will be to Ireland in the summer of 2017.

“We are so proud of these two directors,” noted Aaron Eichorst, Coordinator of Fine Arts for Charlottesville City Schools. “Our students, parents, and staff already recognize the quality of our schools’ music education programs, but these awards show that music professionals across the state recognize the excellence of our faculty, as well.”

Face-painting at Buford Harvest Festival

Buford/Walker: October 2016 Highlights

Face-painting at Buford Harvest Festival
Face-painting at Buford Harvest Festival

Buford Middle School enjoyed another successful Harvest Festival, celebrating the school’s amazing garden and community. Thanks to City Schoolyard Garden for their leadership!

Young Women Leaders Program Food Drive
Young Women Leaders Program Food Drive

Buford students and their U.Va. mentors collected more than 2,000 pounds of food for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank through their involvement with the Young Women Leaders Program.

Buford engineering students recently made a presentation at the Smithsonian’s American History Museum to teach national leaders from education, technology, science, history, & math about the school’s innovative engineering partnership with U.Va, the Smithsonian, and other partners.

Learning by building
Learning by building

CHS and Buford students explored how businesses use technology in Charlottesville’s annual CBIC Tech Tour.

Buford history students have been doing some hands-on learning about life on the Great Plains, delivering wheat to the market and building a sod house.

Throughout the month of October, the National Junior Honor Society at Buford Middle School, an organization of 8th graders dedicated to community service, is holding a winter hat and glove drive to help the children of Charlottesville. Items may be dropped off in the school’s bins.

Congratulations to Buford students Sohl Park, Pray Meh, and Maya Wilmer, who placed 1-2-3 in the Rumi Forum’s Annual Peace and Dialog Art Contest.

Ready for fall foliage? Walker art students beat nature to the punch by creating beautiful leaf-inspired art.

Leaf artworks by Walker students
Details from works by Nyonnika, Isaac, and Hannah.
Jin Pickering Making Lemonade
Jin Pickering Making Lemonade

Sixth-grader Jin Pickering recently used a lemonade stand to raise money to feed the homeless through the Haven, tripling his goal!

The Walker Upper Elementary School Family extends an invitation to all current and future Walker students to attend Bingo Night on November 16 at 5:30pm.

Walker CLASS students played “Human Hungry Hippos” to end a great week!

CLASS students playing human hungry hippos
CLASS students playing human hungry hippos
Walker students testing soil samples
Walker students testing soil samples

Walker’s new swimming program for 5th-graders is off to a good start and was featured by NBC29.

As part of our new iSTEM program to build a bride to the engineering programs at Buford and CHS, Walker students recently measured their soil components for their green roof project.

Kori Ross demonstrates a generator during Sec. King's visit to Buford. Photo courtesy Daily Progress/Andrew Shurtleff

Buford/Walker Highlights for September 2016

Kori Ross demonstrates a generator during Sec. King's visit to Buford. Photo courtesy Daily Progress/Andrew Shurtleff
Kori Ross demonstrates a generator during Sec. King’s visit to Buford. Photo courtesy Daily Progress/Andrew Shurtleff

U.S. Secretary of Education John King visited Buford Middle School as one of the first stops on his Back-to-School Bus Tour, crossing the country to highlight school success stories. Past and current Buford engineering students led the visitors in engineering activities. The Buford engineering program has received international attention; it is a partnership with other area public schools, U.Va., PVCC, and the Smithsonian Institute.  Earlier in the summer, Buford staff and students presented at the International Society of Technology Education in Denver, and still other students and staff participated in a two-week engineering academy at U.Va. to continue developing the “invention kits” that are at the heart of the curriculum.

Student drawing in the garden on the second day of school.
Drawing in the garden on the second day of school.

The Buford Band greeted Sec. King with Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever and earned a shout-out in the Washington Post. What other middle school band can handle a Sousa march three weeks into the school year?!

A before-school gathering of students and families participating in AVID  came to Buford to get the year off to a good start. AVID is a national program geared toward college readiness and closing the achievement gap.  AVID students also participated in Sec. King’s visit by writing thoughtful responses to the prompt, “Opportunity is….”

Walker friends at open house.
Walker friends at open house.

Eleven Buford and Walker students were accepted to Reflections, the Summer Regional Governor’s School Program for Middle School Students Gifted in the Visual Arts: Arianna Deiter, Belaynesh Downs-Reeve, Meg Gist, Eleanor Hilgart, Chu Keyer, Nora Liang, Anna Meyer, Emily Morris, Kyle O’Shea, Sohl Park, Yasu Shinozak, and Georgia Trainum. In addition, CHS 9th-grader Sahara Clemons was selected as one of two student assistants for the program.

Walker students are already celebrating the fine arts — on back-to-back days, sixth-graders attended the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival, and fifth-graders enjoyed performances by Rwandan dancers and musicians (see elementary news for more details).

Plenty of room for rockets in the Delta Lat at Walker
Plenty of room to learn with straw-powered rockets in the Delta Lab at Walker.

The new iSTEM program designed to build a bridge to the Buford engineering program “blasted off” with straw-powered rockets in Walker’s Delta Lab.  Through the activity, students explored force, distance, mean, and measurement.

Bingo cards for Walker's Mix-it-Up Lunch
Bingo cards for Walker’s Mix-it-Up Lunch.

Walker will host its second Mix-It-Up-at-Lunch event with the help of United Way volunteers on the Day of Caring. The program features events like get-to-know-you Bingo to help students meet new friends and acquaintances.

To reinforce some positive behavior routines, Walker hosted a Jeopardy! game featuring Alec Trebec (Mr. K) and Vanna White (Mrs. Geddy).  Students had a fun time answering questions related to Walker’s resources and behavioral expectations.

Student, parent, and teacher

Back-to-School Nights

FB-IMG_6666After a great start to the school year, attend a Back-to-School Night to check in with teachers and get a better sense of what’s coming up!

  • Burnley-Moran:  Thursday, September 15, 5:30pm
  • Clark: Tuesday, September 20, 5:30pm
  • Greenbrier: Tuesday, September 20, 6pm
  • Jackson-Via: Tuesday, September 20, 6pm  (PTO Meeting at 5:30pm)
  • Johnson: Tuesday, September 20, 6pm
  • Venable:  Thursday, September 15, 5:30pm
  • Walker: Tuesday, September 13, 6pm
  • Buford: Harvest Festival, Friday, September 23, 5:30pm-7:30pm
  • CHS: Tuesday, September 27, 5:30-7:30pm